Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Congress meets in AZ on Colorado River issues

Dams on the Colorado River, southwestern US (click to enlarge)

TUCSON -- Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva, Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands will participate today in the House Natural Resources Subcommittee for Water and Power Congressional Field Hearing on the water quality of the Lower Colorado River.

The stretch of the River between Hoover Dam and the U.S.-Mexico border alone provides drinking water to 18 million people in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico. Major metropolitan areas served by this stretch of the River include Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson, and Tijuana, Mexico.

Demand for the water will skyrocket as the population of California and Arizona is projected to nearly double between 2000 and 2050. Development along the River itself will reflect these numbers, exacerbating already serious contamination issues resulting from large numbers of septic tanks leaking wastewater into groundwater adjacent to the River. This has forced small cities along the River into desperate financial straits as they attempt to implement costly remedies that they cannot possibly afford without significant aid.

“The Colorado River is the lifeblood of the Southwest,” said Grijalva. “It not only provides drinking water and irrigation, it has provided unrivaled recreation and natural landscapes, such as the Grand Canyon. Population growth, climate change, and an already over-allocated water supply and now the worriment of past industrial and mining activities will stress the River in ways never seen before. We need to come up with a better solution for The River, before it is too late.”

"The Colorado River is in trouble, and that means trouble for all of us across the southwest and northern Mexico who depend on her for water and life,"
said Arizona State Representative Daniel Patterson (D-Tucson). "I appreciate the subcommittee meeting in Tucson and Mr. Grijalva's sincere interest in the river, a critical issue to the State of Arizona, our economy and quality of life."

Rep. Patterson is an ecologist who serves on the AZ House Water & Energy Committee.

- adapted from N. Luna

US Rep. Raul M. Grijalva and AZ Rep. Daniel R. Patterson
Sky Jacobs photo


Trudy W Schuett said...

Whoever was labeling the dams missed one.

Morelos Dam is the last one before the border. It sits just south of the CA/Mex border in Yuma county.

Anonymous said...

Morelos was not the only one. They also forget to include the Palo Verde Diversion Dam. Its about 15 miles north of I10 and a stones through from Highway 95. It diverts water from the river to agriculture in both the Palo Verde Valley and Coachella. Not to mention that several aqueducts were either left out entirely or marked incorrectly. Just for the record. The dams of the Lower Basin are. Glen Canyon at Lake Powell. Hoover at Lake Mead. Davis at Javaseu. Parker at Mojave. Palo Verde Diversion in the Palo Verde Valley Imperial in the Imperial Valley. Morelos keeps Mexico from getting a drop from the river.